The best tweet yet came across my iPhone yesterday " The Graped Avenger @Graped_Avenger Want to watch the birth of a winery follow
@smithstorywines. Drink what you love, love what you drink. #smithstorywines #texacaliali"
Since announcing Smith Story Wine Cellars to the world exactly 14 days ago, the response, support and enthusiasm has been such a confirmation that we are on the road to living our ultimate dreams in this business of wine. Giving birth to a winery - wow - this is our reality. Please read our first post if you've skipped over May 14...
This week I was asked by a banker "based on your experience in this business, what's the number one mistake that wineries have made over the years in terms of sales and growth?". Without any hesitation, I told the banker "the lack of Best Practices put in place from the beginning. This coupled with not listening and/or empowering employees who bring real wine business experience to a team."
This business is like no other, just because you've become wealthy doing something else in the world, does not mean you have any chance of being successful in the wine business. Yeah, those folks who start with a small fortune or big one most certainly think that they'll make it because they can buy things, chances are pretty darn good for a winery like us who's making certain every dime spent is for the right thing, every phone call is good business, each relationship is bound by integrity and egos remain outside our Best Practices. The wine business is built on relationships, nobody wants to deal with assholes, nobody wants to deal with needy high maintenance emotional winery owners, nobody wants to deal with a disorganized business - period.
The banker quickly replied, "Indeed, you are only as good as your weakest planning, worst employee, worst client, worst vendor, I ask my winery clients often about their Best Practices. Many of the wealthy families I help made their millions by having A-team players surrounding them and holding court, once they step off into their new wine business frontier they often chase the romance and ignore (because of egos) what highly experienced & knowledgeable industry professionals bring to the table for them, often mismanaging these folks thus running in circles like a dog chasing their tail".
Watching a dog chase it's tail is always a good laugh, but "what an idiot" always comes to mind too. Both Eric and I know what our strengths are, we are happily & mindfully relying on others who bring killer talents to our team that we lack. I say this often, we are all in this together, and I'm going to say it forever. The birth of a winery...
This is Our Story.